domenica 29 maggio 2016

Brutal Gang Rape in Brazil Triggers Fury from Civil Society

Protesters gathered outside the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro on Friday after details emerged about the rape of a teenage girl. Credit Vanderlei Almeida/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The police in Brazil said on Saturday that they had made the first arrest in the search for more than 30 possible attackers in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl, a case that has prompted widespread outrage and vows by the federal government to combat crimes against women, news agencies reported.

Brazilians reacted with shock after the May 21 assault came to light last week. Graphic photos and videos of the unconscious, naked teenager were posted on Twitter, and several men joked online about the attack.

The authorities said the teenager had been raped in the São João shantytown on the west side of Rio de Janeiro as she was visiting her boyfriend, The Associated Press reported. The girl told the police that she was briefly alone with him but remembered nothing until she woke up naked the next day in another building among dozens of men who had guns.

The first arrest came after the military police fanned out in search of four suspects who had been identified, the news organization Agence France-Presse reported. The police said they did not know if the boyfriend was one of the attackers, though he was being sought.

The case has rocked Brazil, Latin America’s largest nation, and highlighted its deep-rooted problem of violence against womenPresident Michel Temer promised to create a federal police unit to address crimes against women, The Associated Press reported.

“It’s absurd that in the 21st century we have to live with barbarous crimes like this,” said Mr. Temer, who also called an emergency meeting of the security ministers for each of Brazil’s states to consider gender-related crimes.
Demonstrators gathered in downtown Rio on Friday night with signs that said “Machismo kills” and “No means no,” Agence France-Presse reported. In São Paulo, protesters made a mural with messages that included “I like to wear necklines, that’s not an invitation to rape me.”
The girl, in brief comments to the O Globo newspaper, said: “It’s the stigma that hurts me the most. It is as if people are saying: ‘It’s her fault. She was using scanty clothes.’ I want people to know that it is not the woman’s fault. You can’t blame a robbery victim for being robbed.”
At a news conference on Friday, the police said the girl had reported being raped by 33 men; officials said they had been unable to confirm how many men might have taken part. Rio’s police chief, Fernando Veloso, said that if images had not been posted online, the authorities might not have learned of the attack.
The Brazilian Center for Latin American Studies found that more than 92,000 women were killed in gender-related crimes, including rape and domestic abuse, from 1980 to 2010.

First Arrest Made in Gang Rape Case in Brazil 

Brutal Gang Rape in Brazil Triggers Fury from Civil Society 28 May 2016

The girl told police she only learned for sure that she had been raped by an estimated 30 men after several posted pictures and video of the attack on Thursday, according to the police report filed.

She went to police after seeing the images online, telling them that she believed her boyfriend had drugged her on Saturday night, and left her to make her own way home in the morning. The girl received medical attention, including an STI-prevention cocktail provided to rape victims — a measure that, Brazilians were quick to point out, the head of the country’s lower house of congress had drafted legislation seeking to prohibit.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that arrest warrants were out for four of the men suspected of involvement in the attack and that interim President Michel Temer had called an emergency cabinet meeting of his security ministers.

UN Women’s Brazil office weighed in and issued an official request to the government of Rio, stating that “gender perspective should be integral in the investigation, prosecution, and trial of such cases.”

Some activist pages opted to share ways people can contribute to the investigation.

And some people focused on the attitude of the attacker that posted the video to Twitter and the men who flooded his tweet with misogynistic comments before it was taken down

Though there were some people who tried to find some justification for what the girl’s rapists did, others were having none of it.

“For those who think it’s OBVIOUS that all people would be angry if a 17-year-girl was raped by over 30 men and that in this situation NOBODY would blame the victim. In less than 30 minutes from O Globo posting about this case, we collected some comments that demonstrate how the rape culture is still rooted in the common sense of our society:”

The page End Violence Against Women posted a video with 30 women from the city of Porto Alegre counting to 30.

And other women have posted videos calling for a 33-day vigil against rape.

On Twitter, @ThinkOlga created and helped promote the hashtag #RaivacomRazão (Angry for Good Reason).

As the case continues to move forward in the justice system, hashtags aimed at combating rape have trended throughout Brazil with one — #EstuproNaoÉCulpaDaVitima — still firmly in place.

This Is Why Everyone In Brazil Is Talking About Rape Culture Manuela Barem May 27, 2016

Demonstrators protest the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 27, 2016. Their signs read in Portuguese: “Save our girls,” left, and “Machismo kills.”  (Source: AP) 

BRASÍLIA — Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, 20-year-old Michel Brasil da Silva uploaded a 30-second clip to Twitter, accompanied by the words: “They smashed the chick. Do you get it or do you not get it? lol”
The clip showed an undressed, unconscious woman lying on a bare mattress. She was being filmed by two men, both fully dressed, who took turns manhandling and mocking her.
“This one just got knocked up by 30 guys,” one of them says.
“Check out the state she’s in. Bleeding,” says the other, directing the camera toward her visibly injured genitals. At one point, the man positioned his head next to the unresponsive woman’s buttocks, stuck out his tongue, and took a selfie.
The footage set off a firestorm on social media and brought national attention to the reported gang-rape of a 16-year-old by as many as 33 men in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend — a crime the police had no knowledge of until social media users contacted them en masse.
Rio de Janeiro’s Public Prosecutor’s Office had received some 800 tips within hours of the short clip and selfie going online, according to news site G1. By Wednesday evening, the Prosecutor’s Office had launched an investigation and said it had identified the victim. In her statement to police, obtained by Brazilian magazine Veja, the minor said that she’d met up with Lucas Perdomo Duarte Santos, a 19-year-old classmate she’d been dating for three years, at his house around 1 a.m. on Saturday. They were alone, according to the victim.
The next thing she remembers, she said, is waking up on Sunday. She was naked, drugged, and surrounded by 33 armed men, in a house she did not recognize.
The acts recorded in the video occurred one day after the reported gang-rape of another teenager — a 17-year-old victimized by five teenagers she knew, in the northeastern state of Piauí.
The confidence with which the Rio suspects boasted about what had just taken place, coupled with their decision to not only record, but disseminate, incriminating evidence, has prompted a vigorous discussion here about sexism, violence against women and impunity.
“This case has rattled Brazilians,” said Vanessa Dios, a researcher at the Brasília-based feminist institute Anis. She added that the irrefutable visual proof has kept more familiar responses to rape cases in Brazil from taking hold, such as “I don’t think that’s what really happened,” and “the girl is probably exaggerating.”
“Even so,” Dios said, “many people responded to the footage with justifications” that the victim had brought this on herself. “The day-to-day culture of codifying women’s bodies persists in Brazil. They are constantly given signals to what constitutes acceptable behavior. Among men, the notion that they are allowed to touch and grab women without permission endures.”
By the time his Twitter account was suspended, Silva had already retweeted a deluge of replies to his uploaded video — a characteristic one being, “They wrecked that one’s body hahahahahahahahaha the train ripped her hard.” In response to those who told him to take the footage down, Silva wrote, “People see worst stuff in this [expletive] and don’t complain. Just because I posted the chick’s video they now wanna talk crap. [Expletive] it… The video stays. If it bothers you, don’t follow me.”
Silva did not respond to several attempts to reach him by phone. A Facebook profile widely attributed to him by social media users who have attempted to crowdsource information about the crime has been taken offline.
On Thursday, Cybercrime Police Department Sheriff Alessandro Thiers lodged a judicial request to have four suspects arrested, Veja reported. The magazine names them as Silva, the 20-year-old who uploaded the video, Marcelo Miranda da Cruz Corrêa, 18, who also circulated footage of the crime, Raphael Assis Duarte Belo, 41, who allegedly appeared in the clip and took a selfie with the victim’s body, and Santos, the victim’s romantic interest, whom police suspect of direct involvement in the gang-rape.
“What we have in Brazil is a cultural stew of sexism and sexual violence,” Congressman Marcelo Freixo, president of the Human Rights Commission of Rio de Janeiro, said in a telephone interview. According to Freixo, Rio de Janeiro registered 4,725 rapes in 2014an average of 13 per day. “We can’t say that we live in a democratic country with rates of sexual violence like these,” Freixo said. “We’re talking about a city that’s about to host the Olympics.”
Freixo on Wednesday accompanied the victim to her first medical exam since the attack. He later announced that the commission will monitor the investigation and make sure that the victim receives psychological support.
“It’s a systemic issue, not confined to one economic class or the other,” he said, regarding rape cases across the country. “And there are politicians who get elected thanks to hate speech.”
Though Freixo didn’t mention him by name, Congress Jair Balsonaro, who represents Rio, has built a reputation for spouting off avowedly anti-feminist and anti-LGBT comments. In 2014, Balsonaro told a fellow congresswoman that he’d never rape her because she didn’t deserve it. In April, he dedicated his vote in favor of impeaching now-suspended President Dilma Rousseff to her “boogeyman,” the colonel who oversaw the torture she endured as a young activist during Brazil’s dictatorship.
Bolsonaro was the most-voted Rio de Janeiro candidate for congress in the 2014 election.
On the same weekend that the Rio teenager was reportedly gang-raped, a 17-year-old girl was found bound and gagged in Bom Jesus, a city in the northern state of Piauí. The victim and the suspects — five teenage boys — knew each other, and socialized on the night of the attack. The crime in Piauí came almost a year to the day after a similar tragedy stunned the state: four teenage girls were gang-raped, beaten and thrown off a cliff. One of them died.
But news of the Rio and Piauí crimes reverberated across social media on Thursday. On Twitter, the hashtag #EstuproNuncaMais (#RapeNeverAgain in English) trended worldwide. On Facebook, São Paulo-based artists Luciana Fernandes and Beatriz Rezende mobilized feminist circles and created Por Todas Elas (For All the Women, in English), a mass protest group with demonstrations now scheduled across five cities.
On Thursday evening, in a Facebook page widely reported across Brazilian media to belong to the Rio victim, she wrote, “Thank you for everyone’s support. I had honestly expected that I’d be judged harshly.”

16-year-old gang rape by more than 30 men posted on Twitter 27 maggio 2016

Gang Rape Posted To Social Media Is Forcing Brazil To Confront Violence Against Women 05/27/2016

Brazil gangrape: Protestors take to streets, President calls for crisis talks May 28, 2016

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